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Saturday, May 25, 2013
Baby BoomPosted Friday, February 6, 2009, at 1:06 PM
This morning I saw Nadya Suleman, the single mother of six who recently gave birth to eight more children, interviewed by Ann Curry on the Today Show. Suleman kept her identity secret for a while after her octuplets were born, and if I were she, I would have left it that way.
Appearing on the Today Show did nothing to raise her in my opinion; in fact, it might have done the opposite. I am still appalled that anyone could be so selfish and irresponsible. Among other things, Suleman talked about going to graduate school and becoming a counselor, so that she can support her children.
How could she have time to study and take care of all those children, and how could she afford it? According to msn.com, the cost of raising one child from birth to age 17 can range from $118,590 to $250,260 for single parents, which is at minimum about $100,000 per year for 14 kids.
When I was in China, almost everyone I met in my age group was an only child, thanks to the country's one-child policy implemented to help control its ever-growing population, which is currently over 1.3 billion people. These young Chinese seemed to have close relationships with their parents, which is not always the case here at home. But of course, a lot is expected of them because they are the only children their parents have.
There are some exceptions to the one-child rule. People from the rural areas are allowed two children per family. Bing, one of my tour guides, had a brother because his mother convinced doctors at the local hospital to falsely diagnose Bing with a heart condition, which would allow her to have a second child.
Although China's population control policy is fairly harsh, I don't know if it's a totally wrong idea. Placing a limit on the number of children a woman can have would certainly make her more conscientious about her choices, which would hopefully reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and incidents of child abuse and neglect. It would also prevent crazies like Suleman from having children with reckless abandon.
In theory, I am against such a regulation; but in reality, I don't trust people to be responsible about having children, because many aren't already. As an only child myself, with a great relationship with both my parents, I can say that small families are just that -- small. But that does not make them any less nurturing or supportive, only quieter.
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Sydney is a former staff writer for the Democrat-News. She received degrees from University of Missouri in both music and magazine journalism. She played oboe with the Marshall Philharmonic Orchestra and the Marshall Municipal Band while she was in Marshall.